The number of work-related fatalities in Oregon decreased to an all-time low of 43 in 1997, from 54 in 1996. The median age of the workers was 38 years. The youngest worker was 16 years and the oldest was 77 years old. Five workers of the total 1997 fatality count were injured in earlier years (see Table 1). The work-related fatalities are those fatalities which were accepted as compensable by an insurer during 1997, and for which the Department of Consumer & Business Services received notification by January 31, 1998.
The work-related fatalities during the period from 1978-1997 show a gradual drop, with peaks in 1979 and 1983 (see Figure 1). The fatality rates in Figure 2 are the number of fatalities per 100,000 subject employees. The employment figures are estimated workers' compensation covered employment based on data supplied by the State of Oregon Employment Department. The 1997 rate is based on preliminary employment data.
The construction industry accounted for the highest number of fatalities, followed by the retail trade industry (see Figure 3).
Transportation accidents, including three workers killed in aircraft accidents, accounted for the highest number of fatalities among all events. Six workers died from falls. In 1997, three workers were killed as a result of assaults or violent acts. No workers were killed as a result of workplace violence in 1996.
Multnomah County had the highest number of fatalities in the state (see Figure 4). Other counties which registered three or more fatalities in 1997 were Clackamas, Klamath, and Washington. Three fatalities occurred out-of-state.
Transportation operators accounted for the highest number of fatalities, followed by the construction trades among all occupation categories in 1997 (see Table 3). Precision production and mining occupations recorded no fatalities.
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